Reading is an easy topic for me to discuss. Why? Because I love books; libraries; reading book reviews on other blogger’s websites and spending quality time writing my own; and of course, sharing: both what I have learned and what I consider a favorable or unfavorable read. I have a list of “to-reads” that never seems to end, because I continually find or hear about another book–the list goes on and I slowly mark a few as “read.” On GoodReads, you can make your lists and mark the books accordingly. I even have a shelf titled, “Abandoned;” there are some books you should never force yourself to finish.
However, there are others that are worth a re-read. I am not a person to re-read. In wanting to read all the books of my never-ending “to read” list, I don’t take time to go back and enjoy the books I have already claimed as a favorable good read. In fact, they sit on my bookshelf, collecting dust.
It was only about a month ago that the topic of favorite childhood books was posted on Facebook in a discussion forum for a closed group gathering of We Heart Books: a virtual book exchange. My cousin had mentioned this event back at Christmas, but I completely forgot about it until the week of the last sign up dates. Spontaneous decision, but I was really eager to participate. I filled out my own information sheet of what I like in books–genres, titles I have read or own, authors I don’t enjoy, and a wish list. After submitting my form, I was paired with Micaela from Everyday Encouragements. We shared some same book genre interests, such as historical fiction, and chatted a few times over email. A few weeks later, I received my surprise book in the mail: Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II, by Darlene Deibler Rose. It was on my wish list and after just finishing Jamie Ford’s, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I am very excited to read this book! I have always been a history fanatic, but this past month, I read a few historical fiction and non-fiction books about our country’s past events. Because I had just finished Peter Leavell’s debut book, Gideon’s Call, I was too excited NOT to share–so this is what I sent Micaela.
A few days ago, I had a Skype conversation with my sister. We got on the topic of books and she mentioned two tiles that she was going to re-read. Books she hadn’t read since school days. When we ended, I went to my room and started rummaging in my book basket and bookshelf, mentally taking note of favorite books from the past. It was time. It is a personal new reading goal to read one “re-read” each month. Being the month of February, I chose The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. A classic American romance. 🙂 I haven’t read this since my sophomore year in high school. Although I know the main plot, in essence, it will be a fun, refreshing read.
Yesterday I finished 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites You into His Story by Dr. Larry Crabb. There was no purposeful plan in ending on Valentne’s Day–it just happened. Having read all previous 65 love letter chapters, I found myself somewhat distracted in thought as I opened to the 66th: Revelation. I was excited to conclude, yet almost wishing not. Even though this book was written as a first person conversation between Crabb and God, it was almost as if I sat there at the table with them…listening and taking notes. After finishing both the book and the rest of my coffee, I set out to write a short synopsis of my review on Goodreads. My closing paragraph follows:
The book took me back to the Scriptures…especially in the Old Testament. I could relate to Dr. Crabb in some areas of confusion and frustration, but I continually re-read God’s hopeful message: Trust Him. He has a plan. Life will be hard, but the eternal party has already started and soon I will dance. Until then, persevere in steadfast faith. And Love like Jesus.
I have to be honest…some of the conversations, especially about the Old Testament love letters, had me feeling a bit embarrassed, as my memory of these passages of Scripture were blank. As I ventured back and stated re-reading a few, such as Exodus and Habakkuk, it was as if I were reading it for the first time, yet it was clear and the deeper message of God’s story made sense. This has happened before and I think it is what I love most about the Word: it “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
It’s the best book you could ever read to re-read.